BOSTON -- As the Boston Celtics wait on Shaquille ONeals return, they get two big men back on Tuesday night.
Nenad Krstic and Troy Murphy will both play against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Krstic suffered a bone bruise in his right knee last week against the San Antonio Spurs and was sidelined for two games. After starting all of his games with the Celtics, he will come off the bench behind Jermaine ONeal.
Im just sore a little bit in the back of my knee, but nothing really big, he said.
Krstic admits that while he is feeling better physically, he has to shake the injury mentally.
Hopefully Im going to get it out quickly from my head, Krstic said.
Murphy will suit up for the first time since spraining his right ankle in practice last month. He does not expect to have any restrictions.
Im feeling better. The ankles feeling better but no swelling after yesterdays practice, he told CSNNE.com. Im pumped up. Im excited to be out there and Im feeling good.
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA
BOSTON – It’s a toss-up as to which was celebrated more by Boston Celtics fans: Dwight Howard coming to terms with the Atlanta Hawks, or the fact that it significantly improves Boston’s chances of landing one of their top free agent targets Al Horford.
A league executive texted CSNNE.com that Howard being off the market and going to Atlanta, should make the Celtics the favorite to land Horford.
Acquiring Horford, a four-time all-star, would be the biggest free agent signing in the Danny Ainge era. Boston is scheduled to meet with Horford tonight and is expected to offer him a four-year, $113 million max contract.
But as much as the Celtics want Horford, their primary target remains Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant who may be more inclined to seriously consider Boston if they were to acquire Horford.
After signing with the Blazers, Evan Turner has been making the rounds showering praise on the Celtics organization and fans. He also left a farewell gift for those excited about free agency: Turner told the Boston Globe that Danny Ainge “seemed confident” at the Celtics’ chances of signing free agent center Al Horford.
Previous reports indicated that the Celtics plan to make a max-contract offer to Horford when they meet him Friday night in Atlanta. The Rockets are the only other team that has reportedly met with the former Hawks All-Star, and Houston's situation isn’t nearly as attractive as Boston’s.
If the Celtics do manage to land Horford on Friday, they’d obviously be adding a former All-Star who’d immediately help the team on both ends of the floor. Immediately, though, Horford would give them another recruiter. Horford and Durant reportedly would like to play with each other, so having him enter the room might help their chances at luring Durant to Boston during Saturday's meeting.
As for Turner, he told the Globe that Ainge expressed he would like him back, but would've had to take a pay cut and a reduced role.
"I liked Boston a lot, bro. The organization, and it’s just a sports city and the city is super nice," Turner told the Globe. "If you put money and everything aside, I would play in Boston every single day of the week. Seeing all those Hall of Famers come back and everything, that’s a real franchise."
The Celtics will likely be saying singing a similar tune to both Horford and Durant this weekend.